Fall arrived this week, and a burst of butterflies was reported from the Canadian Great Lakes region. Point Pelee National Park reports:
Sept: 19: "Finally, a decent number of monarchs. The count was 800 monarchs. Perhaps the Canadian monarchs are beginning to move. There was also mention of frost in northern Ontario last night - that should hurry them along."
Sept. 22: "I observed about 600 butterflies per hour moving southwest from 11:30 AM until around 2:00 PM. Migration stopped around 2:00 PM when it clouded over and temperatures fell into mid 50's." Steve Rankin, Clearville Park, ON
Following Atlantic Coast
The monumental migration on the Atlantic Coast continues! Cape May, NJ has become a hotspot.
"It was like a snow globe today as the brilliant orange monarchs flew against the bright blue sky!!!! It's glorious to see them flying around our town — it's a little Mexico here at home." Paige Cunningham
Riding Appalachian Ridges
The peak migration map shows a string of reports along the Appalachian Mountains this week. Did these monarchs move inland from the Atlantic? A Virginia student saw a sudden wave:
"When I was at recces I saw 37 butterflies going south for the winter. It was Friday, September 21st. It was about 3 butterflies coming at once. We saw all those butterflies in 15 minutes. A couple of them went west but they came back and went the right way. We have been seeing like 1 or 2 a day but last Friday was the most." 2nd grade girl, Monroe, VA
At last! A single roost has been reported in Oklahoma. As the picture shows it was small, only 55 butterflies. The migration's arrival was quite clear:
"Monarchs are migrating across central Oklahoma! From 5pm to 5:45pm, I counted 20 in a directional southerly flight. We remain in extreme drought conditions. It's been a challenge to keep the grasshoppers from decimating the flowers intended for the migrating monarchs." Linda S., Kingfisher, OK
Roost maps show where large numbers of monarchs are concentrated. With most of this year's population coming from the east, the pattern raises a concern:
- How many monarchs will make it to Mexico?
All monarchs must cross Texas to get to Mexico. Keep an eye on the migration map. Will we see a wave of arrival from the east?